Eleuterio Lovreglio was an exceptionally talented composer.
From 1917 to 1919 he was first violin of the La Scala theatre’s orchestra conducted by Toscanini, and from 1919 he moved to France, where he was mainly active in Paris and Nice.
Lovreglio’s works blend French and Chinese musical influences (the latter absorbed during his stay in China), using approaches aimed at composing freer, more personal music, far from stereotyped patterns. Endowed with uncommon musicality, he was able to write incredibly modern works, many of which are, regrettably, still unknown.
Composed in 1938, the Concerto for saxophone quartet is part of Lovreglio’s not very rich but well-represented output for multiple instruments and orchestra. In the 1900s, the new, experimental approaches to consolidated music structures and the curiosity for all things new and exotic gave rise, at least in the more cultured circles, to works that were surprising not only for their harmonies but also for the use of unusual instruments. One of these works is Lovreglio’s Concerto, written not so much for four saxophone soloists as for sax quartet, an ensemble by then stable and recognized, used here as a single polyphonic instrument. The true strength of this work is the introduction of new harmonies and melodies from China, and the fact that it contains, in embryonic form, all that was crystallizing in the magma of early 20th-century music.
The Quartet for saxophones, written at the beginning of the last century, is a treasure for lovers of the classical saxophone. It too owes its revival to Enzo Filippetti and the Accademia Saxophone Quartet. It is a masterful composition, a broad work that deserves to be numbered among the reference works for saxophone quartet, just like the works of Ravel and Debussy, The Andante for saxophone quartet recreates the same atmosphere as the Concerto and the Quartet but adds a Ravel-like note of serenity. The main theme of this composition is similar to a broad vocal aria, developed with elegance and the usual harmonic originality.
From the very first notes this work appears a masterpiece, with an ancient melody, elegant, confident and proud, unraveling over an ethereal, celestial harmony.